Mobilizing and Monetizing The Lobby Experience

By Vanessa Horwell Founder & Chief Visibility Officer, ThinkInk & TravelInk'd | March 11, 2012

Jackpot!

That's the exclamation (not to mention double entendre) that's likely doing cartwheels inside the heads of corporate higher ups and casino/hotel bookkeepers that are busy tallying their property's profits. It's a joy especially potent considering that a large portion of the green in their piggy banks stems from those very same gaming additions.

It may seem obvious to any Las Vegas traveler who's ever stepped foot in the MGM Grand, The Bellagio, or Mandalay Bay, but it's important to remember that at sometime, at some point, hotel designers reached this no-brainer conclusion: Instead of building casinos and hotels as separate structures, why not build them as single entities? Better still, why not pair the hotel and casino branding? That way, room rates, the mainstay for a hotel's revenue, can be partnered with an entirely new income stream: gambling money. Everybody knows tourists are coming to cities like Las Vegas to try their hand (and luck) at the one-armed bandit. Why not give hotel guests what they want right in the lobby, and monetize the experience?

A simple idea, for sure, but it's the aesthetic and business success at the root of the world-famous Las Vegas strip. And when it comes to creating revenue opportunities in common spaces, the burgeoning world of mobile, digital signage and location-aware technologies could learn a thing or two. Like the resort-casino model, mobile's next frontier - or certainly a frontier as it relates to hotels, is the lobby. It's a potential revenue, entertainment and loyalty source so significant that hoteliers who choose to mobilize their lobbies should be shouting "jackpot" too.

Mobile's Winning Combination: Engage, Entertain, Enjoy

Of all the places mobile technology has reached, (through smartphones or tablets) it's surprising that the hotel lobby has yet to be tapped – even less so than the hotel room, which is beginning, finally, to find its digital footing.

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Coming up in November 2018...

Architecture & Design: Expecting the Unexpected

There are more than 700,000 hotels and resorts worldwide and the hotel industry is continually looking for new ways to differentiate its properties. In some cases, hotels themselves have become travel destinations and guests have come to expect the unexpected - to experience the touches that make the property unlike any other place in the world. To achieve this, architects and designers are adopting a variety of strategies to meet the needs of every type of guest and to provide incomparable customer experiences. One such strategy is site-integration - the effort to skillfully marry a hotel to its immediate surroundings. The goal is to honor the cultural location of the property, and to integrate that into the hotel's design - both inside and out. Constructing low-impact structures that blend in with the environment and incorporating local natural elements into the design are essential to this endeavor. Similarly, there is an ongoing effort to blur the lines between interior and exterior spaces - to pull the outside in - to enable guests to connect with nature and enjoy beautiful, harmonious surroundings at all times. Another design trend is personalization - taking the opportunity to make every space within the hotel original and unique. The days of matching decor and furniture in every room are gone; instead, designers are utilizing unexpected textures, mix-and-match furniture, diverse wall treatments and tiles - all to create a more personalized and fresh experience for the guest. Finally, lobbies are continuing to evolve. They are being transformed from cold, impersonal, business-like spaces into warm, inviting, living room-like spaces, meant to provide comfort and to encourage social interaction. These are a few of the current trends in the fields of hotel architecture and design that will be examined in the November issue of the Hotel Business Review.